Give & Get !

One of the several things that continues to intrigue me is the science of symbols. Symbols appear to be incredibly powerful and quick way of communcation. Few notable (and well designed) symbols can stir up instant emotions in our minds. Apple logo for an example creates euphoria, ultra simple ONE logo makes one emphathetic, yin-yang symbol evokes contrasting feelings, red octagonal STOP sign evokes urgency and so on.  I recently finished reading 'Man and his Symbols' by Swiss thinker Carl Jung. In the book author emphasizes the importance of balance, harmony, color & context in deciphering any symbol and the impact of these characteristics on human mind. His views on Art Therapy are quite interesting too and I hope to read few more books on the subject to better understand science of symbols in the days to come.

Anyways it's Friday and with a great weather forecast, guess it's time to head outdoors (zoo, beach, botanical garden, whale watch, trekking, camping etc) and truly enjoy the sunny weekend ahead! And in case you plan on going shopping too, grab this shopping pass (Thanks TJ!). In addition to a cool campaign (love the logo design), the idea that GAP'll pass along 5% of the purchase amount to WWF is ingenious indeed!
Art is the triumph over chaos.~John Cheever
[Image Courtesy © GAP]
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Shopping for Art

Last Friday I learned about 'Amazing Things Arts Center' group in local newspaper and attended an independent artist exhibit listed on their site. I procured two paintings by a local contemporary budding artist (He sure wasn't a Picasso or Van Gogh but his bubbling energy & devotion to his true passion interested me a lot!). Even though visual appeal of both artworks played a vital role in my quick purchase decision but what's interesting was that the process left me with so many more intriguing questions. Questions such as:

  • As an art collector, how can one ascertain a reasonable estimate of an artwork?
  • How can one establish authenticity of an artwork-especially when the transaction is being done online or say from an art dealer,museum or art gallery.
  • Do such transactions have some kind of post purchase warranty/guarantee concept?
  • Is it advisable to shop for artworks in real world or online auctions?
  • Is there a way that an art collector can get a candid opinion (with a decent consulting fee) from some trustworthy art-historian before signing the check?
  • Say if certain painting or sculpture really engages an art collector, is there an easy way he/she can connect to the artist and know about his other works?
[Margo Leavin Gallery, with works by Willem de Kooning and John Baldessari]
I spent a Sunday afternoon in Framingham Library researching for trustworthy sources where as an newbie art collector one can get several informed & unbiased opinions about artists & artworks. I saw books (thanks to Lib's cordial staff) that give you pointers on what aspects to see in good artworks, how to find a good art dealer, how to do background checks of auction firms etc. And that's when I saw this "2010 Art Show" flier in the 'Visual Art, Fine Art, Graphic Design' shelf.

ADAA seems the single perfect answer to most of my questions and I am quite positive that some of you might the website interesting too! And while you are on ADAA's website, take a look at their Collector's Guide-a very well drafted primer on shopping for and understanding ART! Happy Reading folks :D
I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.~~Vincent van Gogh
[Image Courtesy © Artnet]
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Geometry and Art...

Can they go together? Well decide for yourself by taking a quick look at Macoto Murayama's computer generated floral creations exhibiting highly meticulous design, near perfect geometry & ultra-delicate organic textures.

There's something mystical yet instantly inviting about  creations from Japanese designers & artists. Based on my exposure to Japanese artwork so far, objects seem to be embossed/engraved/located in an uncluttered, balanced and harmonic space that appears to give calm & positive vibes to the viewer.

Hope to see some of you at "Drop Into Art" or at Beth's Krommes book signing event at Danforth this Sunday. Ciao!
[Image Courtesy-© Pink Tentacle]
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Festival Of Colors !

While I forwarded hundreds of HOLI snaps from emails of friends and relatives from India to my friends here earlier this morning, the email responses I received back were quite interesting. While most of my acquaintances here admired the vibrant colors and ecstatic expressions in all the snaps, some common questions were-What's the significance of HOLI?, Why use colors to celebrate?, Why head out in groups to celebrate?, What's with the crazy facial expressions? Well, you can always lookup wikipedia for a detailed description but here are some quick pointers about HOLI also known as Festival Of Colors:
  • Structure: The HOLI celebration spans across two days. First day is known as Holika Dahan and the second day is known as Dhuli Vandana.
  • Timing: Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (~Feb/Mar). Usually at this time of the year, farms and fields are in full bloom and people thus get into festive spirit and expect a good harvest ahead! Also, singing, dancing & merrymaking serves to rejuvenate the otherwise impassive moods and spirits that prevail during winters.
  • Cultural Aspect: Like many other Indian festivals, it marks the victory of good over evil. Here's a short version of ancient story:
"Once upon a time there lived a ferocious king called Hiranyakashipu, who wished that everyone worshipped him. To his surprise, his son Prahlada worshipped Vishnu instead. Angry Hiranyakashipu then tried several ways to kill his son for his utter defiance but Prahlada would miraculously survive every time. Finally, the evil king asks his sister Holika, who had a special gift to escape from a fire unscathed, to enter into fire with Prahlada on her lap. When the fire commenced, interestingly Holika burns and Prahlada stays unharmed due to his sincere goodness, clear heart & pure spirit."

Indians celebrate this event (known as Holika Dahan) by lighting a small fire and praying together with their families on the day prior to Holi.
  • Colors: On second day (Dhuli Vandana), people head out from their homes in morning and splash water colors & dried colors (gulal) on each other. Kids chasing each other with water color filled ballons is a common sight. in communities get together and form tolis (small groups) and playfully apply colours and exchange greetings as they hope along from one house to another. The idea is to drench everyone around you and have pure uninhibited fun!
  • Social Aspect: By late afternoon, people head back to their homes to clean themselves up and get some rest. Later in the evening, people put on new traditional dresses (sherwanis/sarees as the case may be ;)) and visit respective friends to exchange sweets, greetings and well wishes. The idea is to reconnect with those who matter most to you and strengthen your emotional bonds with everyone else.
That said, do check out "Celebration of Colors" (An excellent rendition of true spirit of HOLI by a truly amazing photographer!) by Poras Chaudhary to visualy capture HOLI. As some of you set out to splash colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and colors of success to your loved ones - here's me wishing you a very joyous HOLI :D

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."~Pablo Picasso
[Image Courtesy-© Poras Chaudhary]
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